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'Round Midnight
     

'Round Midnight

4.0 2
Director: Bertrand Tavernier

Cast: Dexter Gordon, François Cluzet, Gabrielle Haker

 

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Even though this Warner release doesn't feature any meaningful extras, it is still a welcome addition to DVD shelves. The anamorphic widescreen transfer shows off Bruno de Keyser's beautiful cinematography and the Dolby Digital sound transfer is flawless. Another big bonus is that all the live musical scenes have been isolated on separate chapters (even ones that last

Overview

Even though this Warner release doesn't feature any meaningful extras, it is still a welcome addition to DVD shelves. The anamorphic widescreen transfer shows off Bruno de Keyser's beautiful cinematography and the Dolby Digital sound transfer is flawless. Another big bonus is that all the live musical scenes have been isolated on separate chapters (even ones that last less than a minute); those who are familiar with the major league jazz performers who appear and play in the film will know why this is so special. Thankfully, 'Round Midnight doesn't rely on the music alone -- the central narrative of the growing friendship between the two protagonists and how it positively affects their lives is exceptionally well-handled. One of the main criticisms of the film by jazz fans was that star and legendary saxophonist Dexter Gordon wasn't performing at full musical capacity at the time of filming due to prolonged illness. While it's true that Gordon's playing here is well below his usual level of brilliance, it is still worthy of Herbie Hancock's fine Oscar-winning score. Gordon's acting, however, is wonderful and was deservedly Oscar-nominated. Falsely called a "natural" at the time of the film's release, bop giant Gordon actually had decades of acting experience behind him. This DVD edition would've been well served by a commentary track from Hancock and director Bertrand Tavernier, but it is still a very nice disc.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
'Round Midnight, a film inspired by the lives of Bud Powell and Lester Young, is director Bertrand Tavernier's audio-visual lament for the impending death of jazz. Tavernier utilizes a roving camera and be-bop editing to tell this story of the relationship between a self-destructive, emotionally-disintegrating but technically-brilliant jazz legend (Dexter Gordon) living and working in exile in France, and his fawning Gaullic admirer (Francois Cluzet). A subtle chauvinism underlies the story, as America is the land that devours its genius, while France succors it. The startlingly authentic performance of real-life tenor-sax legend and non-actor Dexter Gordon in the lead role is a stroke of genius. His raspy staccato delivery captures the world-weariness of his character perfectly, while he and fellow players' superb musicianship in the key performance passages adds an important element of authenticity and verisimilitude to the proceedings (all performances were filmed live, with no post-production dubbing). Herbie Hancock's Academy Award-winning musical helmsmanship layers the film with a moody melancholia, allowing it to tell its story with jazz riffs as much as words. The story is thinly-plotted, lyrical, and romantic, guided by the spirit of the art form it celebrates. -- Dan Jardine
All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
'Round Midnight, a film inspired by the lives of Bud Powell and Lester Young, is director Bertrand Tavernier's audio-visual lament for the impending death of jazz. Tavernier utilizes a roving camera and be-bop editing to tell this story of the relationship between a self-destructive, emotionally-disintegrating but technically-brilliant jazz legend (Dexter Gordon) living and working in exile in France, and his fawning Gaullic admirer (Francois Cluzet). A subtle chauvinism underlies the story, as America is the land that devours its genius, while France succors it. The startlingly authentic performance of real-life tenor-sax legend and non-actor Dexter Gordon in the lead role is a stroke of genius. His raspy staccato delivery captures the world-weariness of his character perfectly, while he and fellow players' superb musicianship in the key performance passages adds an important element of authenticity and verisimilitude to the proceedings (all performances were filmed live, with no post-production dubbing). Herbie Hancock's Academy Award-winning musical helmsmanship layers the film with a moody melancholia, allowing it to tell its story with jazz riffs as much as words. The story is thinly-plotted, lyrical, and romantic, guided by the spirit of the art form it celebrates.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/30/2001
UPC:
0085391160328
Original Release:
1986
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
2:11:00

Special Features

Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 ; Interactive menus; Cast director film highlights; Theatrical trailer; Scene access; Subtitles: English, Français, Español, Portuguese

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dexter Gordon Dale Turner
François Cluzet Francis Borler
Gabrielle Haker Berangere
Christine Pascal Sylvie
Sandra Reaves-Phillips Buttercup
John Berry Ben
Lonette McKee Darcey Leigh
Martin Scorsese Goodley
Herbie Hancock Eddie Wayne,Conductor
Bobby Hutcherson Ace
Pierre Trabaud Francis's Father
Frederique Meininger Francis's Mother
Ron Carter Himself (Bass)
Billy Higgins Drums
Freddie Hubbard Trumpet
Eric Le Lann Trumpet
Pierre Michelot Bass
Palle Mikkelborg Trumpet
Mads Vinding Bass
Wayne Shorter Tenor Saxophone (Blue Note), Soprano Saxophone (Davou
Cedar Walton Piano
Tony Williams Drums
Liliane Rovere Madame Queen
Ged Marlon Beau
Hart Leroy Bibbs Hershell
Benoit Regent Psychiatrist
Victoria Gabrielle Platt Chan
Arthur French Booker
Alain Sarde Terzian
Philippe Noiret Redon
Eddy Mitchell A Drunk
Charles Belonzi Actor
Arnaud Chevrier Actor
Davout Studio Actor
Marpessa Djian Actor
Cheikh Tidiane Fall Percussion
Guy Louret Actor
Patrick Massieu Actor
John McLaughlin Guitar
Philippe Moreau Actor
Michel Perez Guitar
Jacques Poitrenaud Actor
Luc Sarot Actor
Noel Simsolo Actor
Jimmy Slyde Actor
Pascal Tedes Actor
Pascale Vignal Actor

Technical Credits
Bertrand Tavernier Director,Screenwriter
Frederic Bourboulon Asst. Director
Bruno de Keyzer Cinematographer
Monty Diamond Production Designer
Pierre Duquesne Art Director
Frank Eyton Songwriter
William Flageollet Sound/Sound Designer
Dexter Gordon Songwriter
Herbie Hancock Score Composer
Bernie Hanighen Songwriter
Edward Heyman Songwriter
Paul Le Marinel Makeup
Jacqueline Moreau Costumes/Costume Designer
Armand Psenny Editor
David Rayfiel Screenwriter
Henri Renaud Songwriter
Jimmy Rowles Songwriter
Robert Sour Songwriter
Alexandre Trauner Production Designer
Philippe Turlure Set Decoration/Design
Irwin Winkler Producer
Stevie Wonder Songwriter

Scene Index

Scene Selections
0. Scene Selections
1. Credits ('Round Midnight). [2:02]
2. No cold eyes. [2:15]
3. Paris 1959. [3:05]
4. As Time Goes By. [5:32]
5. On the outside (Society Red). [3:59]
6. Good like before. [3:56]
7. Buy me a beer (Now's the Time). [3:57]
8. Una Noche con Francis. [3:25]
9. I'll have the same. [2:27]
10. Still Time; bebop and the Army. [3:00]
11. Bad news, sad news. [2:16]
12. Autumn in New York. [3:52]
13. Missing (Berangere's Nightmare). [2:55]
14. An invitation. [3:47]
15. Three for dinner (Minuit aux Champs-Elysses, Berangere's Nightmare). [4:37]
16. Body and Soul. [4:13]
17. His inspiration. [5:24]
18. Checking out. [2:37]
19. The tree inside (The Peacocks). [1:21]
20. Missing again. [2:12]
21. His life and love. [3:39]
22. Don't cry for me. [1:54]
23. Tivoli. [3:03]
24. Art appreciation. [1:57]
25. Some changes made. [4:20]
26. How Long Has This Been Going On? (I). [:37]
27. Keeping company with Darcey. [2:54]
28. How Long Has This Been Going On? (II). [2:12]
29. House party (Put It Right Here). [2:02]
30. Too much fun (Chan's Song). [3:33]
31. The recording studio. [1:37]
32. 'Round Midnight. [3:09]
33. Birthday wishes. [2:04]
34. Manhattan; R.W. Goodley. [3:50]
35. S.o.s. . [3:49]
36. Reunion (Society Red, Chan's Song). [3:47]
37. Booker was here. [3:22]
38. Not enough kindness. [3:19]
39. A telegram. [2:52]
40. In memoriam (Chan's Song). [2:51]
41. End Credits (Chan's Song). [3:45]

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'Round Midnight 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago